< PrevNext > International Medical Corps Case Study Protecting Aid Workers on the Scene By JoAnn DeLuna / 19 April 2017 Share Humanitarian organization International Medical Corps has roughly 5,000 field staff working on about 30 different projects around the world, particularly in Africa, Asia, Haiti and the Middle East. They occasionally work in the U.S. for events like Hurricane Katrina. It has headquarters in Los Angeles and offices in London, Croatia and Washington, D.C. "We respond to anything from civil conflict to natural disasters," said IMC travel manager Larry Bague, and the organization sets up a unique risk management strategy for every response program that goes into the field.Provider & Proprietary TrackingTo keep track of travelers, the company uses six travel management companies, based in Croatia, Dubai, Ethiopia, London, Nairobi and the U.S. Workers traveling to program sites are strictly required to book travel through these providers. All the TMCs send itinerary data to travel medical insurance and evacuation provider Medex Global Solutions. IMC also provides HR data feeds to the TMCs.Medex provides an overview map dashboard that indicates where travelers are and who issued the ticket, and it updates any changed travel plans. To make it easier to track travelers at the different program sites, IMC's internal IT department uses Medex's data to create individual dashboards for each program. "Medex serves different purposes. … It not only tracks where our travelers are, it also helps enforce our travel policy," Bague said. For instance, Medex can catch when a flight booked to Beirut will fly over dangerous Syrian airspace or catch banned airlines that IMC should avoid, Bague explained. [Ten years ago], we'd get reports from all the TMCs, but the challenge was tying them all together and then keeping them live [because] we didn't have real-time or live data. It was pretty rough. Now, everything is automated." Hybrid Risk-Assessment ModelIMC uses its own security department's country ratings, as well as Medex's 1-to-5 scale, five being the highest security threat. It also has two sources to notify the company of dangerous events: Medex sends automated email alerts, but IMC pulls in its own feed from personnel on the ground who are monitoring security situations at every program location.Technology UpgradesBefore IMC began using Medex three years ago, it used International SOS. Bague said the process functioned similarly, though he didn't give a reason for the change. More than 10 years ago, IMC kept track of travelers manually. "We'd get reports from all the TMCs, but the challenge was tying them all together and then keeping them live [because] we didn't have real-time or live data. It was pretty rough," Bague said. "Now, everything is automated." In the future, he would like to be able to track travelers using GPS. "Everybody carries a cell phone now, so having a simple app to have you track where your movements are would be a pretty simple solution to track everybody," he said. "The problem is: You run into a lot of privacy issues, [but] it would help tie all of our systems together, that's for sure."